NFL Week 2 Pick Recap
Each week we'll be providing our pick recap to validate our performance and give everyone an in depth view of what our subscribers receive. Let's have a look at the selections below from week 2.
The GreenZone finished the week 3-4 (43%) had the Panthers closed out the first half, we likely end up 4-3 again. The Yellow and RedZone were good as they finished 6-3. Below is a breakdown of the entire Zone performances, along with Bankroll return based on our recommended unit sizing of each game.
Furthermore, each write up for the 7 games we covered for our subscribers is included. This is sent each week for every GreenZone game, and we will also do a FREE write up on the Thursday and Monday night games regardless of Zone. See below for our in depth analysis on our picks from last week.
[6.6 Units] Carolina Panthers (+6) at Atlanta - LOSS
6.6 Units – CAR +5 or more
3.3 Units – CAR +4.5
No Action – CAR +4 or less
For it only being Week 2, both of these teams are coming into the game pretty banged up. The most well-known injured name for Carolina is TE, Greg Olsen, who broke the same foot he did last year and will be out for at least a couple months. However, what is more impactful are the injuries across much of the offensive line, with C Ryan Kalil as the only guy starting tomorrow who enterered training camp as a starter. Riverboat Ron is comfortable with the backups and guys they brought in to shore up the group, and so are we, at least for this week. A large reason we are fine taking the Panthers +6 is the defense they are going to face is equally banged up. Keanu Neal and Deion Jones, both dynamic playmakers and Pro Bowl selections last year, were placed on the IR this week. These are two guys that make them tick on that side of the ball and it’s hard to imagine them being able to apply the type of pressure they typically like without these guys running around and making plays. Atlanta is also without starting RB, Freeman, and facing a strong defense. The Panthers have been consistently a top-10 unit on defense and that doesn’t appear to have changed this year, as evidenced by a great showing last week against Dallas. We see this as a 2.5 to 3-point game, so we’ll take the free points and root for a tight divisional contest.
[6.6 Units] New England Patriots (-1) at Jacksonville - LOSS
6.6 Units – NE -1.5 or less
3.3 Units – NE -2
No Action – NE -2.5
We have a rematch of the AFC Championship game Week 2…what a treat! Many felt strongly that Jacksonville was the better team and should have won the game last January. That last matchup is definitely having some impact on this line. We are following our proprietary modeling and our eyes on this one. We have New England as about 3-point favorites and with the line at just 1, we feel good about just needing NE to come out with a win. Jacksonville’s defense will be a top-5 unit again this year, but we are expecting some regression on the offensive side of the ball, specially with the lack of playmakers surrounding Blake Bortles. Fournette is questionable, but even when he was on the field last week, the Jags offense looked pretty stale. In a rematch of coaching staffs after playing basically 2-3 games ago, we think that favors NE being able to take away the things Bortles does well. There was a lot of roster turnover for the Patriots on offense, but it looks like it’s all systems go yet again for Tommy and Gronk. They had their way with the Texans defense last week and we are confident they will be able to score enough points to leave Florida with the road victory.
[6.6 Units] Seattle Seahawks (+3.5) at Chicago - LOSS
6.6 Units – SEA +3 or more
3.3 Units – SEA +2.5
No Action – SEA +2 or less
The Chicago Bears are 3 and a hook favorites over Seattle! If you could go back and time and tell someone any of the last 7 years that was the spread for this matchup, they’d think you were insane. Chicago is vastly improved, specially on the defensive side of the ball that had already made big strides last season. They are going to win some games and play in a lot of competitive games. We think this will be a competitive game, but our models have this as a 1 to 3-point victory for Seattle. Seattle played good defense last week against Denver and we think they should still be a top-10 unit this year, despite the loss of several members of the Legion of Boom. The pass rush Chicago displayed in the first half against Green Bay is for real, but Russel Wilson finds ways to make plays and is about as mobile as it gets. We trust the numbers on this one, love the hook, and like having Seattle’s defense against a still developing Trubisky.
[6.6 Units] Dallas Cowboys (-3) home with Giants - WIN
6.6 Units – DAL -4 or less
3.3 Units – DAL -4.5
No Action – DAL -5 or more
Both of these teams with playoff aspirations got off to shaky starts last week. The Giants lost a one possession game at home against the Jags while the Cowboys lost a hard matchup on the road at Carolina. These two teams are obviously VERY familiar with each other and this one will have the intensity of almost a playoff game. Our valuation sees this as almost a touchdown game in favor of the Boys. The Giants are improved vs. last year, but the Cowboys at home are going to be able to break some big plays and Dak Prescott should bounce back after a poor performance against a very good Panther’s defense. Olivier Vernon being out should also reduce some of the risk of increased pressure due to the lack of starting C Frederick for Dallas. On the other side of the ball, the Dallas defense, with a healthy Sean Lee, will be able to cause some issues for the Giants offensive line who looked like they still need time to develop last week against Jax. We’ll trust the numbers and look forward to Zeke outshining OBJ on Sunday Night Football.
[5.5 Units] Detroit Lions (+6) at San Francisco - WIN
5.5 Units – DET +4.5 or more
2.75 Units – DET +4
No Action – DET +3.5 or less
This one falls firmly into the “overreaction from Week 1” category. The Lions threw 5 interceptions, one pick six, and a couple others that gave very short fields to the Jets. Additionally, the Lions gave up one punt return TD and another that gave the Jets the ball at about the +20. Lastly, the Lions missed two field goals and had several bad drops of both receptions and potential interceptions. We aren’t saying the Lions are going to make the playoffs and be a 9+ win team at this point, we are simply saying the atrocity on Monday Night Football has the public betting this game as if the Lions are a bottom-3 team…which they are not. Our models see this as a 2.5-point game and we are going to rely on that data vs. reacting to one very bad performance in primetime.
[5.5 Units] Oakland Raiders (+6) at Denver - WIN
5.5 Units – OAK +4.5 or more
2.75 Units – OAK +4
No Action – OAK +3.5 or less
Last week, we saw the potential for how good this Raiders team can be with them returning to double digit win type play in the first half. However, in the second half, we also saw how bad this Raiders team could be if they play at the same level they did last year. Coaching staff changes take time to result in the expected improvements, which was clearly evidenced by all 7 HC that are new this year losing in Week 1. The Raiders are a work in progress, but 6 points in this game is a lot…we see it as more of a 3 to 3.5-point game. The Broncos offense looked improved vs. last year in Week 1, but they still have a long way to go before they are on par with the Rams who eventually took apart this Raiders D. We see this as another overreaction game after the very public 2nd half collapse against who is arguably the best team in football on Monday.
[4.4 Units] Arizona Cardinals (+12.5) at Los Angeles - LOSS
4.4 Units – AZ +10 or more
2.2 Units – AZ +9 to 9.5
No Action – AZ +8.5 or less
This is purely a system play. There isn’t any narrative we can craft that will make you feel more comfortable about going up against the Rammers again. We have pared back the bet some because of fears about our numbers not truly reflecting how improved the Rams are. That being said, a two touchdown spread in the NFL is best team in the league vs. worst team in the league type numbers. We are pretty confident that the Cardinals will not end the year as one of the worst teams in the league. They still have a very talented roster and some guys who are some of the best in the biz at their respective positions (David Johnson and Chandler Jones, in particular). If you’re going to kick one game out of our suggested plays, this is the most “noisy”, but we trust our system and will be betting this one ourselves!